Zaqhwan feels the need for speed, after long absence


PETALING JAYA: For someone so used to racing almost every weekend, staying home – and away from the racetrack – is very awkward for Malaysian rider Zaqhwan Zaidi (pic).

“Last year, it was all racing for me, but this year there is none. It feels a little awkward for me, ”said the Honda Asia Dream Racing with Showa rider.

“However, I am glad I can spend time with my family, especially with my wife, Nurul Fazlin Abdullah.”

In the FIM Asia Road Racing Championship (ARRC), Zaqhwan missed the first round at the Sepang International Circuit in Kuala Lumpur as his team had to pull out due to the Covid-19 situation.

The team, which comprise technicians and engineers from various parts of Asia could not take part as the members had to stay back in their respective nations.

The 24-year-old Zaqhwan was not bitter about it as he understands that the safety and health of personnel are essential but admitted that no racing for more than three months has made him yearn to be back and speeding on track.

“Now that the movement control order (MCO) has been relaxed, I have been out on my 450cc motocross bike with sleek tyres at the Speedway Plus Karting Circuit. So, there is some racing, but nothing beats the feeling of riding your superbike during races and tests.

“This year, my aim was to better my 2019 AARC outing, when I finished third in the ASB1000 standings with 211 points. However, we missed the first round as we could not gather the team, ” he said.

“Right now, we do not know when the ARRC would start. I was told they are observing how MotoGP would do it, and then slowly resume the ARRC.

“I just hope the MotoGP will pave the way for many more races to start.

“Once it starts, the schedule would surely be packed. We missed the first round and lost valuable points. However, I am not giving up hope. I will give it my all when the season resumes.”

Yamaha Thailand Racing Team’s Apiwath Wongthananon is currently top of the ASB1000 standings with 40 points, while ONEXOX BMW TKKR SAG’s Markus Reiterberger and Yamaha Racing Team Asean’s Yuki Ito complete the podium with 38 and 35 points respectively.

For the year 2020, Zaqhwan said his focus was to do well in the Endurance World Championship (EWC), Asia Road Racing Championship (ARRC) and also the All Japan Road Race Championship.

However, he now only hopes that races would resume again.

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